Sony's PlayStation Vita First Edition: A Master Stroke?
Forget about the system's February 22 launch. We prefer the 15th.
A few days ago, I pre-ordered a Wi-Fi enabled PlayStation Vita at GameStop, largely because I don't want to be on the outside looking in February 22, driving around like a madman in search of a system.
This was before Sony announced the PlayStation Vita First Edition bundle, a $349 (in the U.S.) package that includes the 3G system, 4GB memory card, a special edition case and copy of Little Deviants.
Oh yeah, and it debuts the week before.
Critics were quick to point out that Little Deviants is no Uncharted: Golden Abyss, and you know what, that's perfectly fine. I've long believed it's best suited as a pack-in, simply because it does such a fine job showcasing Vita's best features, most notably the rear touch pad, touch screen and outward facing camera for Augmented Reality games.
Now I want the bundle.
3G is irrelevant to me. There's already an iPhone 4S and iPad 2 in the home. No need to fork over more cash to AT&T.
That said, the 3G Vita already costs $299, and when you estimate the average cost of a 4G memory card, case and game, an extra $49 seems like pocket change.
Besides, who doesn't want to get their hands on this machine as quickly as possible? Yes, the majority of the games won't be available for another week, but whenever a hardware launch looms, stores usually sell select third party titles a few days before.
Regardless, the deal lets me enjoy Vita before most, opening the door for delightful trips to the mall and other locations to intentionally make folks drool; in well lit areas to avoid getting robbed, of course.
Bottom line, it's a wonderful idea on Sony's part to help drum up interest and pre-orders for the system. It's also a solid deal, seeing as how most if not all prospective Vita owners will wind up purchasing those aforementioned goodies at inflated prices. Seriously, a 4GB card, Little Deviants and a case will cost significantly more than $49. Try anywhere from $70 to $100.
The real question, though, involves pre-orders. Will Sony ship bundles to stores solely based on pre-order tallies, or will there be additional units lying around?
I'll probably do the following: keep my pre-order for February 22, unless I stumble upon a First Edition February 15.
What about you? Will you jump at the chance to own Vita several days early?